Colleagues- Per the By Laws, FMWAS conducted an election for 2020-2021 FMWAS officers and directors, the balloting commenced with the publication of the Skimmer (Vol XLVII Number 4) available electronically on 04/29/20. Due to COVID-19 crisis, balloting was conducted electronically and by mail. The balloting closed on May 15, 2020 and the results of the election will be certified in the business meeting component of the Strategic Planning Meeting on 06/20/20 on Zoom.

The results are:

President-Michael Brower
Vice President-James Brady
Corresponding Secretary-Ann Forster
Recording Secretary-Pamela Brown
Treasurer-Steve Coster
Director-At-Large (3-year term)-Kristal Walsh
Director-At-Large (1-year term)-Jim Cox
Student Director (1-year term)-Jasmine Pena

Official Message From Francis M. Weston Audubon Society Board of Directors

“Dear Francis M. Weston Audubon Society Members,

Yesterday, your Board of Directors met by video and audio technology and made some very important decisions based on the present health emergency environment constraints.

First, we unanimously decided that the Annual Meeting is to be rescheduled until sometime in the future when the Heath Emergency Environment has subsided.

Next, we decided to proceed with the election of officers and directors for the FMWAS year commencing on June 1, 2020.

In this effort, our 2020-2021 Nominating Committee has been most diligent and has developed an effective slate of candidates for the by-laws required election slots, which is a finely-tuned mix of new-to-the-Board faces  and incumbent experience able to move FMWAS forward in a post-COVID-19 world.

We will officially publish this final slate of candidates on FMWAudubon.org on April 15, 2020.

The upcoming election for officers and directors is being designed to enable maximum participation by all Members in good standing. This includes a means to take nominations from the floor by writing-in the names of alternative candidates on the ballot.

The official ballot, voting instructions and election start- and end-date shall be included in the next published SKIMMER available electronically or by-mail.

Thank you for your patience and support as we all deal with the present health emergency environment constraints. Stay safe and be well.

Best, Michael Brower
President, Francis M. Weston Audubon Society”

PUBLIC HEALTH MODIFICATIONS

Parkwide Cancellations:

  • All ranger led programs have been cancelled
  • Special Use permits for activities with 10 or more people have been cancelled

Closed in Florida:

  • The Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Fort Pickens, and Perdido Key Areas as of 5 p.m. March 20
    • The Fort Pickens Campground, campers must depart by 11 a.m. March 21
    • Highway 399 between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach on the evening of March 20
    • The Opal Beach Complex
    • The Fort Pickens Discovery Center and Bookstore
  • The Fort Barrancas Area including the forts and visitor center
  • The Naval Live Oaks Exhibit Area at park headquarters

Closed in Mississippi:

  • Ship Island and associated facilities
  • The Davis Bayou Campground, Robert McGhee Road Picnic Area, and boat launch
    • Campers need to be out of the campground by noon on March 19
  • The William M. Colmer Visitor Center in the Davis Bayou Area

Concession Operations:

PRESENTLY ALL SCHEDULED FMWAS EVENTS ARE  CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a disturbing warning during a White House briefing on 03/10/20: Americans everywhere need to change the way they live their lives. Right now.

We would like the country to realize that as a nation, we can’t be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a state that has no cases or one case,” Fauci said, referring Americans to the new federal Coronavirus.gov website for details on precautions to take at home, at work and out in the world.

If and when the infections will come – and they will come, sorry to say, sad to say – when you’re dealing with an infectious disease… we want to be where the infection is going to be, as well as where it is,” Fauci said.

Everybody should say, ‘All hands on deck.”

Francis M. Weston Audubon Society reached out to the entire membership of the Board of Directors on the COVID-19 matter. At this time, we have heard from 15 of 16 of our leadership and we fully anticipate full agreement when we hear from our other colleague.

Therefore, until further notice we shall cancel all community FMWAS sanctioned events including Field-Trips, BirdWalks, Beginner Birding Classes, Membership Meetings. Board of Directors Meetings will be conducted by conference call and electronic voting.

Committee chairs shall continue to plan for future events. We shall continuously evaluate the status of situations and as soon as feasible will restore FMWAS sanctioned events including Field-Trips, BirdWalks, Beginner Birding Classes, Membership Meeting events.

We take this action because COVID-19, as a risk, is not going away anytime soon. We, as fiduciaries, must act prudently, responsibly and in the best health interests of the Membership and community well-being.SPECIAL EVENT – AUDUBON VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
WHAT: Rooftop Nesting Fencing
As we approach the end of January of this wonderful New Year, here at Audubon we are gearing up and getting ready for our rooftop nesting season! We have a lot of volunteer opportunities coming up that I hope many of you will choose to be a part of. I’ve attached a brief list and description of each, as follows:  …more

EXPERIENCE

DIPPER

We first noticed the bedraggled Northern Cardinal because of his peculiar feeding motion.

Instead of leaning forward to pluck a black oil sunflower seed out of the tray feeder, he dipped, ever so precariously, into a deep knee bend, then pushed himself back up, wobbling the entire way. Could he be ill?
…more

ENJOY
ENJOY YOUR YARD-MY RESPONSE TO ISOLATION

I was looking at the Florida Wildlife Federation email about a photo contest that starts May 1 and ran into something I thought I would share because it dovetails with my thoughts about the natural world.

The beloved author and neuroscientist Oliver Sacks wrote …more

 CONSERVE

SPRING MIGRATION IN SOUNDSIDE FOUNDATION PRESERVE

Always, when late March is upon Cathy and me, we start looking forward to birding with our friends from Francis M. Weston Audubon Society at our familiar Spring Migration “hot spots” including Ft. Pickens, Ft. Morgan, and Dauphin Island with side-trips to Santa Rosa Unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore to check
…more